Joslyn Reedy-Kay, LISW-S
Joslyn is one of our few Cincinnati Postpartum Therapists, who specializes in trauma, EMDR, maternal and paternal mental health. Joslyn Reedy-Kay has been working in the mental health field as a psychotherapist since 2009. In 2017 she opened her own counseling practice specializing in perinatal mental health in response to her own difficult adjustments to parenthood, including postpartum depression and birth trauma. She builds on her lived experiences and extensive professional training in perinatal mental health and trauma to help the mamas she works with find healing. She is one of only a handful of therapists in the Cincinnati area who has been trained through Postpartum Support International in perinatal mental health.
As you work to create a plan for your postpartum, add her to the resource list! She will be part of mine.
Dream Catcher Doula:How would you describe the work that you do? Why do you think its important?
- Joslyn: I started my counseling practice with the deepest desire to support Moms (and Dads) in one of the biggest emotional and relational transitions we ever go through- parenthood. I specialize in and have extensive training in what is called perinatal mental health- so basically everything that can impact us in the beginning years of having kids… from infertility to loss to birth trauma to postpartum depression and anxiety (AND SO MUCH MORE!). My biggest hope is that through counseling mamas can feel more confident, show themselves more grace and feel they can be the best version of themselves as a parent. The work we do together addresses the practical day to day ways we can make things better and the deeper roots of the issues and find healing. When we don’t address what is going on in our minds it can run rampant and impact everything from how we physically feel to how angry we get with our kids to the emotional connection with our partner… that’s important work! Our mental and emotional well-being often goes unaddressed, especially when pregnant and postpartum. I’m a huge advocate that postpartum mental health planning is as important as your birth plan and all the other planning we do when having a baby.
Dream catcher Doula: Tell me about one of the most memorable experiences you had while working with a client experiencing a postpartum mental issue?
Joslyn: There are so many memorable and meaningful experiences that happen. One of the most recent memorable experiences is with a mama who nearly died postpartum due to hemorrhaging several days after delivery. Her anxiety, worry and sheer panic about being able to stay alive could be literally felt when around her even several months after delivery and the doctor’s reassurance that everything was “fine” now. She was having panic attacks at any sight of blood, constantly crying, unable to sleep, disconnected from her kids, You could feel the anxiety “buzzing” when you were around her and when she talked. Through trauma processing with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and creating a truly safe space in our sessions together within even just a couple weeks being around her “felt” significantly different. Within 4 sessions we processed the bulk of her medical experience postpartum and no longer cried or had significant negative emotions attached to the experience. She was sad it happened but could think and talk about the experience without fear or panic. It was amazing to witness the transformation that occurred in such a short time. It was also amazing to see how she could visibly be present in a different way with her kids. She shared that she felt like she got her life back and it was so rewarding to be a part of that.
Dream Catcher Doula: What 3 things to do think all pregnant people and their families should know about perinatal and maternal mental health?
- Intrusive scary thoughts while pregnant or postpartum are normal (for example, “I’m going to drop the baby and she will die.”….). About 75% of moms experience them. We have these thoughts because our brain is trying to problem solve difficult scary situations and protect our babies. It’s a natural protective mechanism hardwired into your brain, normal and doesn’t mean there’s anything “wrong” with you. There are very straight forward and simple ways to combat these thoughts that I or another counselor can teach you and it will be ok!
- Two of the biggest contributing factors to postpartum depression or anxiety are lack of sleep and lack of support. Planning for how you can get at least 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep (taking shifts with your partner!) can be hugely beneficial to your mind! Plan who can come help even for an hour or two every week the first several weeks can make you feel just a little more human.
- Negative birth experiences happen. Miscarriages, stillbirth and infant loss happen. Infertility happens. Our society doesn’t let us talk openly and authentically about these things and that’s to the detriment of our mental health. All of these things are tied to so much grief, emptiness and isolation. We have intensely negative and even traumatic experiences attached to what we think will be one of the happiest times in our lives. You are not alone! Don’t leave all of the emotions attached to these experiences in your brain. Get them out in safe conversations, writing, drawing or whatever feels authentic to you. If you don’t have a safe space to process and grieve what you have experienced find a good counselor with perinatal training.
When and how should clients contact you
- The best way to contact me is either via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone 513-914-1777. Be sure to leave me a message with good times to call back if you get my voice mail. To find out more information about me please visit my website: http://joslynreedy-kay.com